How to Reset the Backspace Button to Back in Chrome

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Chrome 52, the latest version of the popular web browser, added one feature that may have some users frustrated and ready to switch to Safari or Firefox: it took away the backspace button as a way of navigating backwards by a page. Now, Chrome presents a message that tells users hitting the backspace key to use the Alt + Left  Arrow keyboard shortcut instead. 

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If you're like me, that just won't fly. I used Alt + Left Arrow once, but my fingers and brain refuse to remember that's how to go back a page. Interestingly enough, the company appears to be taking user feedback to heart, as it rolled out Go Back With Backspace, an extension that restores navigation functionality to the backspace button, except when you're editing text.

All you need to do is visit that link in Chrome, click Add to Chrome and then approve by clicking Add Extension. After that, you'll see the Go Back With Backspace button in your toolbar and you're good to go ... back. If you'd rather avoid that clutter, right-click on the Go Back With Backspace button and select Hide in Chrome Menu.

Is changing how Backspace works a decision that the Chrome team never should have made? It can be argued that backspace shouldn't move you a page back, as it can cause you to accidentally lose unsaved work in a browser window. If you agree and also use Firefox, here are instructions for how to disable Backspace as Back in that browser.

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Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
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